This Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Cajun Chicken is quick and easy to make and bursting with bright summer flavors! It’s luxuriously creamy (without adding any heavy cream), made in one pan, and ready to go in just 35 minutes!
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Parmesan) Cheese
1 TBLS Unsalted Butter
1 TBLS Olive Oil
For the Cajun Chicken: Dice the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and combine all the ingredients for the Cajun chicken except the unsalted butter in large bowl. Toss to coat the chicken pieces with the spices and seasonings, set aside.
Make the Spice Bowl: Combine all the seasonings and spices for the pasta in a small bowl. Cover with cling wrap or a small plate (to prevent them from being blown everywhere) and set aside.
Cook the linguini: Cook the linguini al–dente according to package directions in a large pot or deep sauté pan of boiling salted water. Reserve 1/2 cup of water once the pasta is cooked, then drain and set aside. (I like to run water over my pasta to prevent them from sticking and cooking further.) Rinse out the pan and set it back on the stove.
Prepare the other ingredients: While the pasta is cooking, chop the garlic, onion, spring onion, and sundried tomatoes as indicated in the instructions. Measure out the milk in a measuring cup and grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
For the Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Cajun Chicken:
Heat 1 TBLS unsalted butter in a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and is nice and bubbly, add the seasoned chicken pieces and allow them to cook without moving the pieces for about a minute. Then toss and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the chicken has fully cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a clean bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining unsalted butter and olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Next, whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then, lower the heat to medium and gradually pour in the milk while continuing to whisk.
Add the seasonings and spices in the Spice Bowl, the sundried tomato pesto, and the chopped sundried tomatoes. Stir to combine for 1-2 minutes.
Then stir in in the freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese until it has fully melted and the sauce has thickened.
Add the linguini and Cajun chicken back into the pan and toss continuously to coat everything in the sauce. Cook for 5-6 minutes until the starches in the pasta break down and the sauce further thickens, then switch off the heat. (Note: If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in 1-2 TBLS of the reserved pasta water and cook for a minute longer to thin it out a little.)
To Serve: Divide the Sundried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Cajun Chicken in four plates or transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with the spring onion greens and serve immediately!
Reheating Leftovers: If you have leftovers or are not eating immediately, reheat the pasta in a pan on the stovetop and add about ¼ – ½ cup of water. (Cream sauces tend to thicken over time when it is not cooked in copious amounts of oil or fats.)